We love going to breweries and see them as a way to get our fingers on the pulse of our new town…they serve as a proxy measure for a sense of community and connectedness as they often are a hub of activity, stewards of the community, and places where people connect. So, here is our roundup of breweries in the area…in order of preference.
- Do you always have a warm place in your heart for your first brewery in a new place? Yes. Me, too. Although, Farmstrong is legitimately good and it also gave us more of a peek into life in Mt. Vernon. I had the sampler, of course, and loved the two IPAs and DIPA, called the Zeek 2.0, in my selection. Cas got the La Raza Amber (a Mexican lager), the Valley Gold Lager, and the Zeek 2.0. The servers were very friendly and took extra time to welcome us to Mt. Vernon. They even gave us a “beer passport” so that we could explore other area breweries! The vibe was great, friendly, laughing, and upbeat. They have a huge garden area with food trucks, too!
- TIED for Second:
- We took a walk on our second night in town to Skagit River Brewery. We both tried their flights of four beers. I chose all Skagit River Brewery beers and Cas mixed in a few from other local breweries. He will tell you that I like a wider range of beers than him…he prefers IPAs and usually not much else. Of all that I tried, I liked their NWIPA the best. We enjoyed sitting outside on their deck. We liked it…but didn’t like it enough to stay for a second round…and went to 192 Brewery
- I think we liked 192 Brewery as much for the conversation as we liked the beer, frankly. 192 is technically based in Kenmore, but has a tap room in Mt. Vernon that recently opened. They like to call themselves the smallest brewery in Washington and use only Washington-grown hops. In any case, the beer was a bit lighter than we usually go for. The bartender even told us that they shoot for “non-offensive” beers that are guaranteed to be crowd pleasers. We found that claim to be true–the beer was easy to drink and enjoyable. Buuuut. We usually like beers with flavor and a big hoppy punch. So, it doesn’t land high on our list, but it could be high on yours…
- We went for a nice, long 8.2 mile hike and decided a beer at the end of that sounded perfect. Off we went to La Conner. La Conner is a sweet little water front town filled with sweet little independent businesses–including the La Conner Brewing Company. I had a flight of five of their IPAs and Cas enjoyed a nice NW IPA. We were happy with our choices, for sure, but not compelled to get another beer or bring any home. If this was our neighborhood brewery, we’d be as happy as can be. We don’t think, though, that we’d make special trips to La Conner for the beer.
- We popped into the North Sound Brewing Co while out and about exploring the Skagit Valley. We’d heard that they have a variety of food trucks and we were hungry for some dinner. Alas, we did not luck out in that regard. They do allow you to order in and to bring your own food–so that is pretty nice. The beer, though, was quite tasty. I got a sample of four of their standard IPAs and liked them all. The Hazy IPA was a nice way to finish my tasting. Cas enjoyed the hoppiness of their selection. They say that they give a NW spin to beers from England and Ireland…I didn’t quite taste that, especially since I chose particularly hoppy beers, but maybe if English and Irish beers are your thing you’d like it!